1 Eagleton Notes

Thursday, 21 August 2014

A New Family

When Gareth and Carol married two families were joined.

It is only now that the festivities are over and I have returned from my all-to-brief sojourn in Glasgow that the reality of that joining has struck home.

When Gareth and Carol announced that they were marrying Carol’s family made it clear that if Gaz married Carol he married her family as well. I cannot think of a more loving and wonderful family with which to be associated as an in-law.

Gaz’s Mum and I have not lost a son nor just gained a daughter-in-law: we too have gained a family.

For me having lived on the Island for four decades it has the special significance of cementing my bond to the Island.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

What Happens Afterwards?

I'm referring, of course, to the Referendum as to whether Scotland should become independent.

One of the first things anyone learns who is doing a job which involves advocacy of any sort is that in order to win an argument you must first know and understand the other person's case or point of view.   So when a friend who was round for dinner last night asked me why some Scots would wish to vote 'Yes' I embarked upon an explanation.  I had little difficulty partly because my head has been here long enough to understand and partly because I spent my early years in the North West of England and people there had a similar view of being dominated by the South who, in our minds, regarded anyone north of Watford as a teuchter.

I should say that unless asked a direct question I always try to avoid the subjects of politics and religion when in company: especially the company of people who may hold strong and differing views from my own.

To cut a long story short one of the party took umbrage at the case I made and left in a towering and apparently uncontrollable rage.

Wind back the clock a few months and I joined Collaborative Scotland whose website started with the paragraph:  "Whatever the outcome in September’s referendum about independence, we all need to work hard to ensure that we can live well together after the referendum. That this is so within Scotland seems fairly obvious and, of course, the same can also be said about our relationships with the rest of the UK."  I'm not sure that the organisation has really got very far although I like its objectives.

How I will vote remains my business and, in any case, whilst I started off with my head ruling my heart, on the day my heart may well rule my head or perhaps my head will have seen reason (whatever that might be!).

Whatever the result I fear that the recriminations and effects will be far more bitter and far-reaching than anyone can at this moment imagine.  I hope that I am wrong.  I very much hope that.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Competitive? Who says?

One of the things that Gaz organised for the day after the wedding was an archery contest.  Despite the fact that it was raining heavily and quite windy quite a few of us took part.  Some were more competitive than others.  Some were more expressive (and therefore more photogenic) than others!  The Best Man clearly thought that at this moment he had the upper hand on a rival: competitive

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Do You Read The Manual?

Spesh has been having a go at the cat for (allegedly) having a go at the new rug.  It's a very opulently sculptured rug in pure wool.  A few days ago she discovered that it says very clearly on the label on the bottom that it should not be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner but simply with a hand brush.  Who does that nowadays?  Anyway the cat has been exonerated.  I think that not reading the manual is generally regarded as a man thing.   That's what I'm told by my female friends anyway.  Spesh is quite open about the fact that she's too impatient to read manuals.  (and even more open now that I've written this!).  

However it made me think that perhaps I should read the manual for the new microwave/convection oven and grill that I've just bought to replace my ageing microwave oven.  It's amazing what one learns when one reads the manual.  I never knew, for example, that you can use aluminium foil in a microwave to stop certain parts of something you are cooking from being overdone.

One of the reasons I bought it was to bake the occasional potato without having to put the main oven on for a single potato.  I had rather hoped to be able with this splendid piece of equipment to produce a baked potato faster and more economically but with a nice fluffy inside and a well-cooked crispy skin.  However the manual assumes that you will microwave your potato.  That's quick but the skin is far from crisp.  So I think that, despite being a good boy and reading the manual, it's still going to be down to experimentation for my perfect potato.

Do you read manuals?  Now, come on, be honest.